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Regional Assignments

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Mocker4Life
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Regional Assignments Empty Regional Assignments

Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:50 pm
Expecting that the regional assignments will be posted soon here I'll go ahead and create a space to talk about it all when we get there.
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:51 pm
For the record, regional assignments were released on 11/21/2018 last year.
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Regional Assignments Empty Re: Regional Assignments

Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:14 am
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Hey everyone,

I have been emailing the staff at AMTA regarding regional assignments and to the best of my knowledge, assignments should be coming out by the end of this week or during this upcoming weekend. Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:13 pm
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They are up!
Ghost of Perjuries Past
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Regional Assignments Empty Re: Regional Assignments

Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:41 pm
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I feel like something has to be said about the discrepancy of the ratio of teams per bid at Regionals.  Every single regional in the country is by rule allocated 6 bids right now.  There are no additional bids available to be handed out or put onto the open bid list.  So we're looking at places like Norman which has 18 teams; and Tempe, San Diego, and Colorado Springs, each with 19 teams; getting the same amount of bids as Orlando, who has 28 teams.  In Norman it will be exactly 1 bid for every 3 teams, a 33% advancement rate.  In Orlando it will be 1 bid for every 4.7 teams, a 21.4% advancement rate.  Statistically (obviously not in reality with team quality), it will be harder to advance from Orlando than it will be from ORCS.  In past years with 8 ORCS we've seen some discrepancies in advancement rates, this isn't a perfect system given the natural outcomes of geographic constraints and power balancing.  But this year, because AMTA's growth has put the TAC committee in a situation where they have 0 open bids to allocate to the large regionals and balance out the advancement rates, the advantage of going to a smaller Regional is much more massive than it has been before.  Plainly, Regionals is substantially more unfair than it has ever been in the past under the current NCT structure.  

To be clear, I don't place any blame on the TAC committee for this.  I trust that they have done the best job possible assigning teams based on geographic restrictions and power balances.  They have done exactly what the rules demand that they do in terms of allocating bids.  The problem is that AMTA's growth, which we have all known to be a looming issue for several years now, was never addressed and the rules that we have in place now do not equitably accommodate the change in growth.  Because AMTA has been unable to settle on a path forward, despite years worth of dialogue on the issue, teams will be placed at a significant advantage or disadvantage at Regionals based on where they are physically located, and not based on anything occurring in the courtroom.

A couple of related issues that I've been squatting on as well.  Last year we went to 9 ORCS.  This summer the board voted against TFC 07, a motion to return to 8 ORCS and 6 bids per.  And yet here we are, with 8 ORCS.  No announcement, no explanation.  For all the talk of transparency, it was lacking here.

Another interesting fact on AMTA growth.  Right now we're at 734 teams registered and not withdrawn for Regionals.  That number will likely rise slightly by the time we get to Regionals, but could fall with a large number of withdrawals.  With 192 bids that puts us at an overall advancement rate of 26.1% right now.  Nearly the same as the 25% advancement rate out of ORCS.  If growth continues in the same trend it has for the past several years over the next two years, it will be statistically harder to advance from Regionals than from ORCS.  Maybe that's what we want as a community?  But it seems based on our history that's not what we want.  Yet, unless some course of action is finally settled on, it's the reality that will occur.
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Regional Assignments Empty Re: Regional Assignments

Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:24 pm
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I think 9 ORCS didn't work and I don't think thats an unpopular opinion. Yes, more teams were able to go to ORCS, but there were teams with 6 wins at ORCS who didn't end up earning a bid and that shouldn't happen. And because there were so many open bids, teams with 4.5 wins at regionals were advancing. A team had 4.5 wins and a CS of 9 and ended up advancing to ORCS and that's just ridiculous. What you're not taking into consideration is that there are also 5 more regionals this year (I think? somewhere around that number) so having the largest regional at 28 is actually a good thing imo. We saw regionals last year in the 30's while only earning 7 or 8 bids so this new system is more fair to me.
Ghost of Perjuries Past
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Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:42 pm
You know I agree with you that 9 ORCS and a 48 Team NCT wasn't the solution. Last year, there were too many bids available at regionals given the number of teams competing. I agree that more regionals sites is generally a good thing, but when you have so many that it robs the TAC committee of the ability to use open bids to balance the tournaments I think its a negative. Even one less regional tournament would have given the TAC committee the ability to give the 6 largest sites an extra bid each which would have significantly balanced the advancement rates to be as or more equitable than last year. If you assume we eliminate the smallest regional (18 teams), leaving us with 31 total regionals, it doesn't significantly effect regional size overall. It's about 0.6 more teams per regional. Obviously the geography doesn't make it that simple of a proposition, but was achieving 32 regional sites and sacrificing advancement rate parity really necessary?

There's really two issues here. First is the parity of advancement rates across regionals. The overall advancement rate out of regionals could be 10%, it doesn't matter, this issue is about keeping the opportunity of advancement even across each regionals sites. In 2018 the largest gap was between Cincinnati (35%) and New Haven/Minneapolis (25.8%). A gap of 9.2%. Putting aside team strength, it was about 26.3% harder to advance out of New Haven or Minneapolis than it was Cincinnati. This year, as the assignments stand today, the largest gap is Norman (33%) and Orlando (21.4%). A gap of 11.9%. That means, putting aside team strength, it's about 35.8% harder to advance out of Orlando than Norman right now. The numbers simply show that this year is projected to be less fair. It's a significant year to year increase in the disparity between regionals, the gap in parity is projected to widen by 26.5% in one year, and without some serious assignment gymnastics or lots of travel distance waivers from programs, its likely to widen more in future years if the current setup persists. At 32 regionals, AMTA by rule cannot add any more sites to break up the larger locations in order to even the amount of teams at each site.

Unfortunately there's no realistic solution to this issue (barring some TAC assignment heroics) other than structural change, which brings me to what I think is the second issue you're touching on: what should the overall advancement rate out of Regionals be and how do we keep it there. You're right that 4.5 ballots and a 9 CS shouldn't get to ORCS. I think keeping the overall advancement rate at or slightly above 25%, the same as what ORCS is currently at, is the correct path. I don't think it should be more difficult to get out of Regionals than ORCS. However, we're on the path to have that happen either next year or in two years. I think the overall rate should be kept in the 25-30% zone. The problem we saw last year was that in trying to keep Regionals from becoming too difficult to advance from, AMTA overstepped and made it too easy. Adding a 9th ORCS added too many bids to the regionals pool and brought the advancement rate all the way up to 33.3% while lowering the advancement rate out of ORCS below what was logical. Personally, I think the best measure to handle growth and keep the advancement rate out of regionals and ORCS logical is to use a multi-step process. Begin by adding 2 teams to every ORCS next year (8 ORCS, 26 Teams Per), adding 16 bids to the regionals pool. This year that would put us at a 28.3% advancement rate, and could keep us in the 25-30% zone for about another 2-4 years. Once growth puts the regionals rate at risk of diving below 25% again I think then is the time to add a 9th ORCS 24 teams per, expand the NCT to 54 teams, adding 8 bids to the regionals pool. That should keep us at a 25-30% regionals advancement rate for at least 4-5 years. After that you could explore repeating the process, taking the 9 ORCS to 26 teams per, and eventually going to 10 ORCS, 24 teams per, and possibly implementing the split NCT sites proposal.

All of this being said, I think my main point is that the circumstances of regionals this year, the lack of parity in advancement rates, the maxed out 32 regional site schedule, and the overall advancement rate teetering on the verge of making regionals more difficult to advance from than ORCS, are bubbling symptoms of AMTA's recurring inability over the past few years to settle on a workable solution to continued growth. Without a course of action to address these issues soon, they will become even more severe.
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Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:20 pm
Ghost of Perjuries Past wrote:
First is the parity of advancement rates across regionals.  The overall advancement rate out of regionals could be 10%, it doesn't matter, this issue is about keeping the opportunity of advancement even across each regionals sites.  In 2018 the largest gap was between Cincinnati (35%) and New Haven/Minneapolis (25.8%).  A gap of 9.2%.  Putting aside team strength, it was about 26.3% harder to advance out of New Haven or Minneapolis than it was Cincinnati.  This year, as the assignments stand today, the largest gap is Norman (33%) and Orlando (21.4%).  A gap of 11.9%.  That means, putting aside team strength, it's about 35.8% harder to advance out of Orlando than Norman right now.  The numbers simply show that this year is projected to be less fair.  It's a significant year to year increase in the disparity between regionals, the gap in parity is projected to widen by 26.5% in one year, and without some serious assignment gymnastics or lots of travel distance waivers from programs, its likely to widen more in future years if the current setup persists.  At 32 regionals, AMTA by rule cannot add any more sites to break up the larger locations in order to even the amount of teams at each site.  

I talked about this some on another thread, but I think one thing that could be done to fix the parity issues is to adjust the way that bids are allocated to regionals. This doesn't do anything to deal with the total percentage of teams that advance to ORCS, but one way to fix parity would be to say that you get bids on a more sliding scale based on the number of teams present.

Right now what they do is assign everyone the same number of bids and then go through and give one extra bid to the biggest ORCS. That would work if there were a narrow range in the number of teams per ORC. But with the gap as wide as it is, even adding a seventh bid to the biggest ORCS would result in a pretty big disparity.

The easiest way to achieve parity would be to say that we figure out roughly how many teams there are per bid. Then you assign bids to regionals proportionally. As I said on the other thread this would result this year in roughly 3.8 teams per bid. With a bit of rounding, this would give us
14-17 teams: 4 bids
18-20 teams: 5 bids
21-24 teams: 6 bids
25-28 teams: 7 bids
29-32 teams: 8 bids

This keeps the number of bids per team between 23.5% and 28.5%. This cuts the discrepancy in half, which is at least a step in the right direction.
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Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:45 pm
To clarify, the system you've identified is the style in which the rule is currently written.

(2) ALLOCATION OF BIDS TO REGIONALS. Bids to the opening round championship shall be allocated equally to all regionals with 20 or more bid-eligible teams. Bids to the opening round championship shall be allocated pursuant to this Rule to all regions with less than 20 bid-eligible teams.

(a) Allocation of bids to regionals with less than 20 bid-eligible teams. Regionals with at least 6 but fewer than 9 bid-eligible teams shall have two bids to the opening round championship. Regionals with at least 9 but fewer than 12 bid-eligible teams shall have three bids to the opening round championship. Regionals with at least 12 but fewer than 15 bid-eligible teams shall have four bids to the opening round championship. Regionals with at least 15 but fewer than 18 bid-eligible teams shall have five bids to the opening round championship. Regionals with 18 or 19 bid- eligible teams shall have six bids to the opening round championship.

(b) Allocation of bids to regionals with 20 or more bid-eligible teams. Should the number of regionals with 20 or more bid-eligible teams not allow for equal distribution of the bids, each regional with 20 or more bid-eligible teams shall receive the same number of bids, and the remainder shall be distributed jointly by the National Tabulation Director and the Tournament Administration Committee Chair according to the following: Regional tournaments with 20 or more bid-eligible teams will be ranked according to the number of teams registered 48 hours prior to the start of the first regional tournament, from largest to smallest. The unassigned bids will be allocated beginning with the largest regional tournament. If not all regional tournaments with the same number of teams can be accommodated, those bids will remain open bids. The actual number of bids allocated to each regional will be confirmed at the time of each regional tournament's registration based upon the number of teams that actually check-in. If the number of registered teams falls below the number required to receive an additional bid, that bid will return to the open bid pool. If any bid is declined for any reason, including any bid unaccepted due to Rule 6.1, the declined bid shall become an open bid.

A big problem is that the rule is outdated. It assumes a setup in which there are many regionals at less than 20 teams, and it assumes a setup in which there are ample extra bids (meaning less than 32 sites) to be awarded to the regionals over 20 teams. I think rewriting the rule to reflect the ratios you identified is a good step in fixing the regional parity problem. But the overall advancement rate problem still looms and can only be corrected with larger change.
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Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:55 pm
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Ghost of Perjuries Past wrote:To clarify, the system you've identified is the style in which the rule is currently written.  

(2) ALLOCATION OF BIDS TO REGIONALS. Bids to the opening round championship shall be allocated equally to all regionals with 20 or more bid-eligible teams. Bids to the opening round championship shall be allocated pursuant to this Rule to all regions with less than 20 bid-eligible teams.

(a) Allocation of bids to regionals with less than 20 bid-eligible teams. Regionals with at least 6 but fewer than 9 bid-eligible teams shall have two bids to the opening round championship. Regionals with at least 9 but fewer than 12 bid-eligible teams shall have three bids to the opening round championship. Regionals with at least 12 but fewer than 15 bid-eligible teams shall have four bids to the opening round championship. Regionals with at least 15 but fewer than 18 bid-eligible teams shall have five bids to the opening round championship. Regionals with 18 or 19 bid- eligible teams shall have six bids to the opening round championship.

(b) Allocation of bids to regionals with 20 or more bid-eligible teams. Should the number of regionals with 20 or more bid-eligible teams not allow for equal distribution of the bids, each regional with 20 or more bid-eligible teams shall receive the same number of bids, and the remainder shall be distributed jointly by the National Tabulation Director and the Tournament Administration Committee Chair according to the following: Regional tournaments with 20 or more bid-eligible teams will be ranked according to the number of teams registered 48 hours prior to the start of the first regional tournament, from largest to smallest. The unassigned bids will be allocated beginning with the largest regional tournament. If not all regional tournaments with the same number of teams can be accommodated, those bids will remain open bids. The actual number of bids allocated to each regional will be confirmed at the time of each regional tournament's registration based upon the number of teams that actually check-in. If the number of registered teams falls below the number required to receive an additional bid, that bid will return to the open bid pool. If any bid is declined for any reason, including any bid unaccepted due to Rule 6.1, the declined bid shall become an open bid.

A big problem is that the rule is outdated.  It assumes a setup in which there are many regionals at less than 20 teams, and it assumes a setup in which there are ample extra bids (meaning less than 32 sites) to be awarded to the regionals over 20 teams.  I think rewriting the rule to reflect the ratios you identified is a good step in fixing the regional parity problem.  But the overall advancement rate problem still looms and can only be corrected with larger change.

I think the problems with the rule as currently written are:

1) It fixes the ratio of bids to teams for the smaller regions. That should be done on a year by year basis to adjust for expansion. If you notice, for example in my chart above, an 18 team regional should be getting 5 bids this year to remain proportional and the rule has it fixed at 6. This automatically reduces the number of bids available for the higher numbered regionals and decreases parity.

2) Instead of allowing for gradations between the bigger regionals, it just makes them all the same and then maybe gives one extra bid to the very biggest. On my system there could be a two or three bid difference between the smallest regionals and the biggest to increase parity.

Even if we had 9 ORCS this year (so there were 24 extra bids to give out), what would happen is that instead of assigning the extra bids proportionally with some regions at 6 bids, some at 7, and some at 8 (keeping the ratios the same), they would start all the regionals at 6 and then move 24 of them up to seven. In other words, the system only allows a maximum one bid discrepancy between the smallest 20+ team regional and the largest, and that just doesn't make sense given the size ranges we are seeing.
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